Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the New York Times,
Entering his 20th season, the 38-year-old Shanahan appears very much his old self. That goal against the Islanders last weekend was vintage Shanahan.
First, he was open. Finding free ice in front of the goal is a skill of its own. When he took the pass, he had already looked at the goalie and knew where he was going to shoot. And the key, he said, was taking the shot before the goalie could adjust to him. The puck flew past the goalie’s glove hand and inside his left post.
“There’s two types of accuracy: there’s high and low, and left and right,” Shanahan said. “The left and right part of the accuracy was good, but the height was poor. It was kind of in the middle, and you either want it down low or up high. But you get away with that stuff if you get the puck away quickly.
From Bob Duff at Duffer’s Dabbles,
Former Detroit Red Wings forward Sheldon Kennedy looks at Todd Bertuzzi and sees himself in Bertuzzi’s eyes and facial expressions. Kennedy thought when he went public in 1996 with details of how he was sexually abused by Graham James, his junior hockey coach, it would set him free, but it took years of dealing with the issue and confronting how it had impacted his life before Kennedy could move beyond the pain.
Though’s he not spoken to Bertuzzi, the ex-Wing who comes to Joe Louis Arena Wednesday with the Anaheim Ducks, Kennedy believes that Bertuzzi is still battling his inner demons over the hit he put on Windsor’s Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in a 2004 game, a sucker punch from behind that to date has shelved Moore’s NHL career.
from Darren Dreger at TSN,
Dany Heatley has agreed to a 6-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators. Sources tell TSN that the salary averages $7.5 million per year.
Although details of the structure remain confidential, sources say it’s similar to the contract Daniel Briere signed in Philadelphia in terms of a heavily weighted salary at the front of the contract that ratchets downward, making the cap hit the team will absorb more attractive.
from the CP via TSN,
Moments after helping Scotiabank announce that it is now the official bank of the league, Bettman was besieged with a wide-ranging series of questions on Wednesday.
He talked about the proposed sale of the Nashville Predators and potential expansion. He spoke about the league’s foray into Europe and touched briefly on Rick Tocchet’s suspension, the rising Canadian dollar, the NHLPA’s search for an executive director and the New York Rangers lawsuit against the league.
Even with so much on his plate, Bettman was looking forward to the puck dropping in North America on the 90th NHL season. He was to attend the Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators later in the evening.
from Phil Coffey at NHL.com,
Teams starting off 2007-08 ought to take a quick look back at last season’s standings. Tight playoff races in both conferences should add a little spring to their respective steps to start padding their points totals in October.
The Leafs don’t need to be reminded they fell one point short of a playoff berth, the Canadiens two points. The Hurricanes, Stanley Cup winners in 2006, didn’t defend their title, missing the postseason by four points.
Finally, the puck drops in North America tonight.
Center Ice ready, Verus tuned in and still waiting (but know it is coming) for the NHL Network.
The game is back folks, we are in our comfort zone again. The ice is heating up and I can’t wait.
A tradition here at KK continues, enjoy! (wmp audio)
From at the AP via Yahoo!,
Adam Litteken, 16, and his Francis Howell Central teammates were warming up for practice Tuesday night at the Rec-Plex rink in St. Charles County when he collapsed, school officials said Wednesday.
Paramedics treated Litteken at the scene and took him to Barnes-St. Peters Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour after falling to the ice.
from Damien Cox at ESPN,
Well, the Hawks will surely hit the half-century mark without winning it all, while the Leafs were closer five years ago than they are now. The Leafs are likely to be better this season and in the immediate future, but the Hawks have a chance with Toews and Kane to be one of the game’s most talented young teams if they nurture the prospects they own.
So the answer, really, is neither team appears on schedule to win the Cup anytime soon. But if the Hawks have the right kids and a productive change in ownership direction is in the offing, they look like the better bet somewhere down the line.
read on for a comparison…
from Scott Burnside at ESPN,
Here’s a look at some players, coaches, teams and managers who might be making headlines this season:
Our pick for best defenseman (Norris Trophy)
With Scott Niedermayer on the fence somewhere between Fernie, British Columbia, and retirement, the door once again swings wide open for Nicklas Lidstrom, who has managed to win five of the last six awarded. Chris Pronger may give chase in Anaheim, but this is Lidstrom’s trophy to lose.
Our pick for best goaltender (Vezina Trophy)
This one represents a changing of the guard as far as we’re concerned. Yes, Martin Brodeur will be in the mix as will Roberto Luongo, but watch for Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers to earn his first Vezina after being nominated in each of his first two NHL seasons.
from Pat Hickey at the Montreal Gazette,
Alex Kovalev said yesterday there’s no reason his younger linemates should feel intimidated.
“I’ve told them to play their games and not to worry about me,” said Kovalev, who will be playing with Andrei Kostitsyn and Mikhail Grabovski when the Canadiens face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
Last season, Tomas Plekanec said he was uncomfortable playing between Kovalev and Sergei Samsonov. But Kovalev said yesterday that he is heeding general manager Bob Gainey’s advice and helping the youngsters.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org